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February 07, 2013 9:07 am

MY LOUSY WORLD: Me and them other writers

Written by Doug Blough

I’m not only a column writer, but a column reader. In the Jan. 29 edition, I read Geoffrey’s column at the bottom of the page, and Amend’s column directly above his. I would encourage Dante by saying, “Take heart, young writer; we all started at the bottom. You’ll move up eventually.”

In thoroughly digesting both columns, I suspect I have a little more intellectually in common with Dante than Don. I had never even heard of Melpomene, Erato, or Thalia, who Don says are all Greek muses. I lean more toward non-fictional characters, preferring the likes of Archie Andrews and his pal Jughead. They are much more a-muse-ing than those Greek stiffs.

It’s interesting he’s encountered three presidents, where my closest link to a president was about 30 years ago when a good friend from Pennsylvania, Johnny Buchko, was standing at attention guarding President Ford’s de-boarding airplane, when a bolt of lightning struck his belt buckle and killed him on the spot. Nothing amusing about that.

The topic of Dante’s column was why he’s changed his title from Culture Shock, to All Joking Aside. While he admits his former title was misleading, so is my photo. Truth be known, I’m not that clean-cut, short-haired muse you gaze at each week on the Opinion page. I haven’t had a haircut in nigh upon three years, and I often wear a headband to keep those flowing locks out of my face.

I, too, have considered updating and having a more truthful photo taken, but some still judge by outward appearance, and I fear I might suddenly be shunned and persecuted in a conservative community like Powell. Some old-school folks might say, “I wouldn’t be caught dead reading anything he has to say. He looks more like a drug-addict rock star or a homeless dreg than a humor writer.”

But really, what is a writer supposed to look like? I notice Amend has a pretty wild, wooly beard adorning his chin, but that doesn’t make him a hippie or a Quaker. But still, I’ve decided to continue the lie and leave the photo just as it is. Sometimes it’s better to let a sleeping Doug lie.

But Dante Geoffrey (or is it Geoffrey Dante; I can never remember) and I share similar writing styles. I, too, have been taken deadly serious when my satire should have been obvious. At one point in his column, Dante imagines that something he writes might prompt a reader to ask, “Why would he say that?” Well, someone literally asked that very question of me after reading something I had written.

It was probably about 20 years ago when the old, Cody Shoshone Bank that was located on the corner of Sheridan and 13th was being torn down and rebuilt at its present location, Sheridan and 14th.

I wrote a letter to the editor feigning outrage at the disgraceful condition of the building and the deterioration bank officials were allowing to happen. I bemoaned, “There are actually bricks falling from the walls and lying on the sidewalk. The parking lot is a muddy mess, and about the only people you see banking there anymore are construction workers, probably cashing their paychecks on the way home.

“The officers of Shoshone Bank should take more pride in the appearance of their building. No wonder everyone is banking at that nice, new bank up the street.”

The next day, an old friend I hadn’t seen in years called and said brusquely, “You really ticked off a lot of construction workers.” I said, “Hey Victor, I AM a construction worker, remember?”

That same day, my best friend Frank Rozek, manager of the Fitness Center where we lifted weights together, told me a big-shot insurance agent we both knew had come to the counter and asked Frank with a tone of real concern, “Why would Dougie write something like that?” Frank answered deadpan with, “I think he was trying to see if anyone was stupid enough to think he was serious,” to which the guy attempted to cover his stupidity tracks with, “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

And once I wrote a column suggesting East Sheridan Hill, which leads to my townhouse, should be renamed “Doug Blough Hill.” I reasoned that many more people know me than knew Andy Martin, namesake of the “Andy Martin Hill” on the South Fork. The next issue brought a terse letter from an older gentleman who was downright steamed. He began with “Doug Blough is a legend in his own mind,” and then went on to explain how that hill had been called East Sheridan for as long as he could remember, and how changing the name would confuse tourists seeking directions. So who in the Sam Hill did I think I was, he wondered.

So I commiserate with Dante, and I’ve noticed from his writing we do have much in common. We both relocated from other parts of the country and we’re both handsome young bachelors. But that’s where the similarities end. I, unlike Dante, would never intentionally sneeze on a blackjack dealer. That’s just plain mean!

1 Comment

  • Comment Link March 14, 2013 4:53 am posted by Nan Temyer

    Don't cut those locks Doug,clean cut suit wearing males don't make them more of a man, it's what's inside that counts and how you present it.

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